Research shows that teachers hold different expectations for different students and these varying expectations influence students’ academic performance (Good & Brophy, 1997; Jussim, Smith, Madon, & Palumbo, 1998; Rubie-Davies, 2007; Rubie-Davies, Hattie, Townsend, & Hamilton, 2007). Teachers form expectations of students based on personal beliefs about individuals’ capabilities (Rubie-Davies, 2015). Teachers’ differential expectations for students can have positive and negative influences on student learning opportunities and their future potential (Weinstein, 2002). The purpose of this action research study was to better understand if gifted second-graders perceive their teachers’ expectations and if there is a difference in their academic performance or classroom behavior. The research focused on observing and interpreting ideas from the perspectives and experiences of the six gifted second-graders. The innovation focused on the voice of the students in making change in their classroom environment. It focuses on classroom observations and reflections of the six participants to discuss their thoughts and feelings about their perceptions about their teachers’ expectations. The greater purpose behind the design of the innovation was to provide a space where students could share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas, without fear of punishment from their teachers. Participants shared their ideas through online selfie videos in order to inform teachers’ practice. Data were available from several sources including the Teacher Treatment Inventory questionnaires, transcriptions from interviews, and videotaped lessons. The study aimed to determine: (1) How do gifted second-graders perceive to understand and respond to the varying expectations of their teachers for their academic success? and, (2) How do the varying expectations of teachers’ impact the classroom learning of gifted second-graders? Findings suggest teachers with low expectations for their students establish a climate of failure, but teachers that value their students’ abilities create a climate of success. Students achieve more when their teachers have purposeful and clear expectations. As indicated by the literature, when teachers listen to student voice in classrooms, it improves students’ morale. Creating an inclusive social learning environment in a gifted classroom requires teachers to build their classrooms around student voice to enhance the supportive and caring environment (Fraser & Gestwicki, 2012).
- Gifted second-graders' perceptions of teachers' expectations
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Statement of Responsibility
by Tara Zichichi